Category Archives: Career-Education

Ca fait longtemps

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Howdy! Bonjour! Ahlan! Hola! Alo!

Ca fait longtemps. It’s been a long time. So I thought I would fill you in on my latest happenings. First of all, I redesigned my blog? What do you think? I’m also brushing up on my Arabic, Spanish, and French skills. I spoke to my father-in-law recently and he made mention of my Arabic.  I froze and answered in French. Needless to say, I have a lot more practicing to do. Work has kept me quite busy so blogging has been non existent. However, I have been keeping a virtual diary through the application Flava and I absolutely love it. My streams of thought will never disappear again.

Since accepting a new role at work, I am spending 50+ hours at the office every week. Once you add in commute time, I have had very little time to do anything when I get home other than say hello to my husband, sleep, read, and listen to music. Since I work for a travel company, I have been fortunate to add in some travel time as well which I will touch about in another blog, but this piece will focus on my current Nook bookshelf.
I’m currently reading Selling with a Noble Purpose by Lisa Earl McLeod. This book was required reading for work and I’m about half way through. It’s a great book for anyone who works in sales or customer service. The main point is to focus on the customer first with the thought that the sales will follow.  This book has certainly shifted my thought from someone who simply sells vacations to someone who creates cultural experiences for my clients or helps customers with their business. For example,  I have a repeat client who books air only tickets to business meetings all over the world.  When he told me he landed a big contract with a major drug store in England, I felt like I contributed to that success by ensuring I got him to this meeting on time and without stress.

I will admit, I never read business or motivational books, but this is a book I highly recommend. I prefer to read fiction, philosophy, or books on cultural studies.  Thus, I was excited to add a second Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie book to my reading list: Americanah. If you or anyone you know has dealt with immigration issues this is a great book that touches on some of the major issues from language barriers to cultural norms, longing for home, assimilation, and identity. It was a quick read although reaching over 500 pages for the electronic version.

My favorite book, Soledad Brother, is about to get kicked out of the number 1 spot by Anais Nin’s Henry and June. I have only read one other Nin book, The Delta of Venus, and I immediately fell in love with her writing. Way before Zane or E.L. James, there was Nin.  She is a true wordsmith and introspective as revealed through her diaries.  These diaries reveal her struggles with self-image, the challenges with perfecting her craft,  vulnerability to love, and a melange of other themes from exploring sexual orientation, psychoanalysis, and fidelity.

I not only got lost in her writing, but I felt like I related to her on so many levels.  About half way through the book I restarted it from the beginning:) I simply didn’t want the story of her and Henry to end and I didn’t want her to stop talking to me.

So what books are currently on your bookshelf (real or virtual)?

My first job: Paper or Plastic

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My first job: Paper or Plastic

I’ve created a new definition for retail therapy.  While some problems are temporarily forgotten about by  strolling the busy streets of Gran Via in Spain or Oxford Street in London, my therapy is actually standing on the other side of the register as the employee.  I love retail for the simple fact that I love meeting all types of people, it’s easy money, and it’s a job that requires very little thinking if you serve as the underling as I have done on several occasions. This love affair with retail started when I was in high school and has manifested itself into various ways, but first let’s start with my first retail job – which also was my first job ever!

My First Job

I started my first retail job in high school (around 17/18) when I worked for a local grocery store chain.  Although I was a  bagger/cart retriever I took pride in my job – something that many young children lack today. At that age, I did not mind pushing carts in the rain or cold. In fact, it was fun racing around the parking lot with my other colleagues.  Imagine pushing a few stupid carts, hanging outside, and getting paid for it – what more could a high school, teenage kid ask for.

Although I enjoyed the job as much as one could at that age, I was quickly reminded of my factory defect: my inexplicable stomach.  I was not a vegetarian at the time, but I believe it was this experience that threw me into the arms of vegetarianism a few years later. As I bagged the food, specifically lunch meat, I became ill with almost every order I bagged.  Til this day, I refuse to work around food.

I quit after a few paychecks, but I will always remember my first job. I was proud to make my own money, gained a little independence from my parents, and I strengthened my work ethic that was instilled in me from my parents, involvement with sports, and programs such as Upward Bound.

**As an aside to my parents, I urge you to enroll your children in some sort of class (music or otherwise), athletics, or job before they graduate.  Without either of these things, I believe the teenager has a harder time adjusting into the real world once they leave the parents home;  the child often has no concept of money, time, nor have they developed the ability to work well with others.**

Unfortunately, I do not see a lot of drive in the younger generation – including my own siblings.  I see the desire for high and quick returns without very little work put forth. Although a lot has changed in the 15 plus years since I held my first job, I am certain that no matter what the career aspirations are a lack of humility, motivation, and a good work ethic will cause the next generation to lag behind.

So tell me…what was your first job? I would love to hear your stories and how it impacted your life?